Your build is very interesting to me. I download alot of fansubbed anime, and lately I've had the strong urge to be able to watch it on my HDTV rather than my monitor, so I wanted something that would let me stream from my PC to my HDTV over Ethernet (I live in a small apartment so I'd be running a Cat5e cable right from my router to the front-end). Right now, my options seem to be:Western Digital WD TV Live
This is looking really tempting since its cheap, network-ready, and does exactly what I need. It also supports an arseload of file formats:http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=735
The ones that stand out for me are MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), MP3, FLAC, SSA, and ASS since alot of fansub groups use those formats. However, this isn't something I'd able to update if specifications change (unless Western Digital provides regular firmware updates, which I doubt). Like, just recently I had to upgrade to CoreAVC 2.0 since the older version I was using was having problems with adaptive p-frames. I'd be stuck if the unit comes across something it can't handle. So, based on that, my other option is a custom build. Based on your build, I'd probably go with:Intel DH57JG "Jet Geyser"
Its not out, but according to Anandtech's article it'll cost about $125, so its cheaper than Zotac's board. I wanna to keep the price as low as possible. Of course, the big problem here is that the motherboard alone is already more expensive than the WDTV Live.Intel Core i3-530
- $124.99 (I'll be using the default cooler that comes with this)G.Skill 2GB DDR3-1333
- $64.99 (I seriously doubt I'll need alot memory for this)Antec ISK 310-150
- $99Antec ISK 300-150
I think the only difference between these two is the bezel. I'll be using the IGP and I won't be playing games on it so I imagine the 150W PSU will be enough. Plus I can still throw in a low-profile discrete GPU if the IGP ever stops being up to snuff. (right now I'm banking on the Intel IGP's hardware acceleration being even with CUDA-accelerated CoreAVC 2.0)WD Scorpio Blue 320GB 5400RPM
The above case only takes 2.5-inch drives. This has 500+ reviews and 5-stars so I imagine its good. Its either this or the 40GB Intel SSD. I'm sure the SSD has much faster boot up times and I'm still considering it for that reason but for now I'll stick with this.
Microsoft Windows 7 Pro 64-bit - $0 (University is awesome)
As far Blu-ray goes, I'm not worrying about that right now. Most likely I'd get a BD-ROM for my PC, rip ISOs for any Blu-ray discs I get, and stream them to the chosen unit (the WDTV Live supports ISOs and it goes without saying that the custom build will). That's why I'm not including it with this build.
So $119.99 for a non-upgradeable/non-updateable unit (again, unless WD provides firmware updates) that does everything I want out of the box vs. $348.97 for an upgradeable/updateable custom system that I can tweak as needed and is likely to last longer. Any thoughts?